Last week, we posted about PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and how the German branch of their organization made a public statement decrying a segment of Battlefield 3 where players can kill a rat. Many months before that, we had written about PETA’s fight against Super Meat Boy, since they believed that the protagonist was made of animal meat, and not simply a boy without skin, as the developers claimed.
And today, dear readers, we bring you the very last story we will write about PETA and their ridiculous campaign against video games for the foreseeable future. At a certain point, it becomes clear that all you’re doing by reporting on stupid behavior is feeding the beast.
Yesterday, news of PETA’s latest initiative spread across the internet. Their new campaign, called “Mario Kills Tanooki,” is targeted, obviously, at Nintendo’s mascot and his new game, Super Mario 3D Land.
Their site’s text reads like the scribblings of a crazy person:
“When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy—even wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers. Tanooki may be just a “suit” in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur.”
The site even offers its own browser video game, Super Tanooki Skin 2D, in which you “help Tanooki reclaim his fur.” You play as a bloody, skinned tanuki-thing, chasing a flying Mario across a blood-soaked Mushroom Kingdom.
In fact, following PETA’s logic, you could even say that PETA’s game—with its heavy metal-inspired visuals and zombiefied tanuki protagonist—promotes the killing and skinning of animals. I mean, who’s to say that some impressionable youngster playing the game won’t get totally juiced by the gory, exciting visuals the game promotes and go out and murder a bunch of animals? The game glamorizes blood and death, even allowing you to “kill” the tanuki by not hitting the jump button in time, crushing him to death against a wall. Isn’t that exactly the kind of glorification of violence against animals that PETA has been working so hard to fight against?
Pretty irresponsible, PETA.
Anyway, this morning, Eurogamer posted an official reply from Nintendo on PETA’s claims:
“Mario often takes the appearance of certain animals and objects in his games […]These have included a frog, a penguin, a balloon and even a metallic version of himself. These lighthearted and whimsical transformations give Mario different abilities and make his games fun to play. The different forms that Mario takes make no statement beyond the games themselves.”
To further ensure that no one ever takes this organization seriously again, allow me to point out two little factoids that friends of mine mentioned to me, inspired by this latest round of idiocy. One: In upstate New York back in the ‘90s, PETA petitioned to have the name of “Fishkill” changed to “Fishsave,” because “Fishkill” promotes violent imagery against fish. Of course, “kill” is Dutch for “creek,” and, also, PETA is stupid.
And two, a note from my friend, Dan: “The World Wildlife Fund is currently trying to fly the last handful of black rhinos—which were just recently officially listed as ‘extinct’—to habitats that are safer from poachers. Meanwhile, PETA be bashing on Mario’s Tanooki Suit.”
Good night, PETA. You have zero credibility. May we never hear of anything you have to say ever again.